UL System Board Approves Tuition, Fee Increase – 12/06/2002
BATON ROUGE, La.–The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System approved a 3 percent increase in tuition and mandatory attendance fees for its eight universities.
The increases are allowed under a law passed in the 2001 Legislative Session. The law permits university management boards, such as the University of Louisiana System, to grant requests to increase fees of up to 3 percent annually.
The Board approved the request today. The proposal now advances to the Board of Regents and then to the Joint Committee on the Budget. If approved it will go into effect in Summer 2003.
UL System President Sally Clausen called the increase modest in comparison to those of universities in neighboring states. She said even though the state has recently allocated the most funding for higher education in Louisiana’s history, the adjustments are necessary to address situations caused by escalating costs.
“We have been extremely fortunate to have a Governor and Legislature that support us. Louisiana is only one of five states in the country that has not cut higher education in the past year, and it’s one of two in which funding has actually increased,” Clausen said. “However, we are still trying to recover from the oil crisis in the late 1980s that resulted in necessary budget cuts, and we can’t rely on state funding alone to do it.”
The increase in tuition and mandatory attendance fees, which is only the fourth increase in 14 years, would amount to an average annual increase of $79 and would bring almost $6.2 million in revenue to the universities.
The average annual tuition at a UL System school is $2,596. A survey of colleges and universities in the 16 states of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) showed that rate to be more than 20 percent below that of similar schools regionally. Also, The College Board, which follows trends in higher education, estimates that four-year colleges nationwide will increase mandatory fees by almost 10 percent this year, partly to make up for decreases in state funding. According to SREB, proposed fee increases in neighboring states are as follows: Mississippi 8 percent, Arkansas 6 percent and Texas 4.8 percent.
Obviously, we would rather not have to increase fees, but we must be realistic. Our universities have to compete with others in the South with only about 70 percent of the dollars,” UL System Board Chair Gordon Pugh said. “A three percent increase isn’t going to reverse that fact, but it’s a start.”
The University of Louisiana System includes eight universities: Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and University of Louisiana at Monroe.
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